Traveling Through Art – The Meaning of the Movements: A Five Part Course with Dr. Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe
Can't make this time?
A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.
The idea of travel has come to permeate our collective consciousness with unprecedented urgency and vigor. Passport offices worldwide are experiencing backlogs with increased demand and fewer resources.
This course invites art lovers to travel without the madness of overbooked, delayed, or canceled flights. In fact, we will travel in real-time as intended by Baroque, Rococo, Romantic, Orientalist, Realist, and Impressionist artists. What is it about travel that fuels a desire to leave what is familiar for what’s less known? What type of travel is most enriching and why? This five part-course explores notions of travel and the desires that spark and fuel them.
Lecture One – The Baroque Period
Our course begins with examining the artists of the Baroque Period. Journey through Caravaggio’s tenebrism, Rembrandt’s intuitive storytelling, and Bernini’s spiritual ecstasies to discover how Baroque art challenges the boundaries of time and space. We will visit Versailles, if only virtually, and discover the Sun King’s opulence and majesty in a well-orchestrated drama of gardens and galleries focused on heliocentric allegory. As the language of power and luxury adopted by the church and state, the Baroque was ultimately an art of persuasion. When entering a sacred space or a royal palace, Baroque art was designed to transport and enrapture. One of the earliest and most complete manifestations of gesamtkunstwerk, the Baroque is an alluring harmony of painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, gardens, and tapestries working in unison to compel and to convince. This highly dramatic art style appeals to emotions to attain the spirit.
Lecture Two – The Rococo Period
Rooted on notions of sensuality and desire, the Rococo flourished during the Age of Reason. Learn how these diametrically opposed ideals coexisted and captivated the minds and spirits of artists and intellectuals alike. Experience the seduction, elegance, and refinement of the objets de luxe that expressed the dreams and dramas of escapism. Freed from Versailles’ “golden cage,” the newly emancipated aristocracy expressed a wild desire to travel by transforming intimate indoor spaces into delightful fantasies for all the senses. Discover exquisite Chinoiseries, decadent hot chocolate services, delicate snuff boxes and Watteau’s fêtes galantes, Fragonard’s wild and sumptuous gardens, and Boucher’s playful pastorales.
Lecture Three – Romanticism
During our third week together, we’ll consider the notion of traveling at home through Romanticism and its invitation to look inward at our own back yard. Learn how Romantic artists claimed landscape as the stage from which to rouse strong emotions and cultivate notions of nationalism and national pride. Discover how Romantic artists promoted a more intimate and profound knowledge of the vernacular: local history and regional sites. Travel to nineteenth-century America and learn about the bonds between land and identity that sowed the seeds for attitudes that sustain local tourism and modern-day staycations.
Lecture Four – Orientalism
As a Western imaginary construct, Orientalism perpetuates a power structure wherein the West asserts itself over the Other. Experience snake charmers, traveling caravans in the desert, bathers in harems, and impressive renditions of Islamic architecture in a discourse that reveals the absence of the very elements that enable Orientalism to exist as means of vicarious travel.
Lecture Five – Realism and Impressionism
Our final discussion mirrors the desire to stay at home-–evoked in the work of Realist and Impressionist artists. We’ll explore Gustave Courbet and his contemporaries’ taste for everyday life realities depicted in real space and time. Learn about the appeal of modernity and being of one’s time. Journey through the local parks and gardens represented in Impressionist masterpieces that reframe the narratives of modern life during the late nineteenth century in Paris.
Dr. Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe is an art historian, educator, and curator specializing in nineteenth-century French art. Her doctoral dissertation surveyed the interconnectivity of national identities in nineteenth-century Paris through acquisitions of seventeenth-century Spanish artworks by private collectors.
Born and raised in Mexico, Ana-Joel has lived in Canada and France and currently resides in the USA. Her work and pedagogy are flavored by her penchant for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning experiences and approaches. While she is a nineteenth-century French art specialist, her interests are broad and her experience speaks of a confluence of early modern and contemporary issues in art. Working at the Cabinet de Dessins, Musée du Louvre, her research on sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian prints and drawings culminated in the publication of the department’s most comprehensive and up-to-date catalog of Italian drawings.
She assisted in curating major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada on Caravaggio and at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on Francisco Oller’s Impressionist oeuvre. Concomitant to her curatorial career Ana-Joel has taught Art History for thirteen years and currently holds a position as Adjunct Faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
In addition to her academic and museological achievements, Ana-Joel is an artist and opened her own studio in 2020 at the service of women who have suffered abuse in the context of domestic violence and the ongoing pandemic.
How does it work? This is a five-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
When will I receive the Zoom link? Your link to enter the Zoom room will be the same for all five sessions. It will be sent to the email address used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each lecture's start time.
Is there a reading list in advance? Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.
How long are the lectures? Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course? The course is $175 USD for five lectures.
Is a recording available? Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording link within 48 hours of each session's conclusion.
Are there additional seminars, courses, and in-person experiences being led on the topic of French History? Yes! Dr. Falcón-Wiebe will be leading several virtual experiences in the coming weeks. Details are available here.